Uninstall This Alleged Emirati Spy App From Your Phone Now

Wired | 12/22/2019 | Lily Hay Newman
darkkazunedarkkazune (Posted by) Level 3
Click For Photo: https://media.wired.com/photos/5e000f1a91848b0008e65861/191:100/w_1280,c_limit/Security-ToTok-924551844.jpg

A social messaging app called ToTok has been surging in popularity around the world in recent weeks. If you happen to be one of the hundreds of thousands of users who downloaded it you should delete the app from your phone immediately.

United States intelligence officials, speaking to the New York Times Sunday, warned that ToTok isn't the secure platform it purports to be; instead, it's likely a surveillance tool that can funnel data to the government of the United Arab Emirates. Google removed the app from Google Play on Thursday and Apple removed it from the App Store on Friday, but ToTok will keep working—and potentially spying—if it’s already on your phone.

Yesterday - Patrick - Wardle - Security - Researcher

"Uninstall it yesterday," says Patrick Wardle, a security researcher at Jamf specialized in Apple operating systems who formerly worked at the National Security Agency. On Sunday, he released a technical analysis of ToTok.

Despite the companies' efforts to catch them during pre-screening, shady mobile apps still slip into Google Play and Apple's App Store. While invasive marketing practices and criminal data collection are bad enough, apps that function as an espionage tool of governments are an even greater concern.

ToTok - App - Encryption - Security - Feature

ToTok claimed to be a "fast and secure calling and messaging app," but it did not specifically tout end-to-end encryption, the security feature that protects data from prying eyes at all times except on authorized users' devices. The app's privacy policy only addressed data storage: "Messages: all data is stored heavily encrypted so that local ToTok engineers or physical intruders cannot get access." The app emphasized that it offered unlimited voice and video calling plus messaging to anyone with an internet connection so users could stay in touch with family and friends around the world. And the app was especially appealing to users in the UAE, because it didn't have the functionality...
(Excerpt) Read more at: Wired
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